May 18, 2011

Orange Balsamic Chicken

Orange Balsamic Chicken with Rice and Veggies

Growing up, my mom was the head chef in the kitchen. Therefore, when she had to be out of town for business we would all look at each other with a little concern in our eyes when it came to the meals. With mom away, that left Joel, my step-dad, next in line for dinner preparation and when Joel and cooking were combined, well we ended up with lots of good stories. There was one time mom prepared dinner in the morning and asked Joel to just pop the baking dish in the oven a little before we all got home. We walked into a decadent smelling house of chocolate! He baked my science project (which was brownies made into a cell) instead of dinner! Then there is my favorite, which was actually the very first meal he made for us: spaghetti. Now you may be asking how can you mess up tomatoes and noodles? I can’t actually remember what it tasted like but I remember more so what he served it in! A thermos! He came over to the house and in the very center of the table he placed this huge thermos! If you knew Joel, it made perfect sense! I mean a thermos is to keep your liquids warm so why not your spaghetti too! Now, this all leads to Joel’s specialty and that is orange marmalade chicken! It was fool proof really and I totally recommend it for anyone who is hesitant about their cooking skills in the kitchen. We’d get chicken breasts with the bone in and skin on, little salt and pepper, herbs if you wanted and then just some orange marmalade right on top! He’d pop the chicken in the oven with baked potatoes, then we’d have bread and fruit. The moral of this story, orange marmalade comes in a simple little jar but can make for a pretty tasty meal even when mom isn’t around!

I saw this Rachel Ray meal and started immediately laughing when I saw orange marmalade was the key ingredient. That’s what I do now when I think of or see orange marmalade! It takes me back to the “classic” Joel’s cooking and mom is out of town dinners. In a way, you can say that the combination of orange marmalade and chicken holds a special place in my cooking repertoire and adds an element of comfort every time!

This particular meal is not only really delicious but couldn’t be easier to put together! When you sit down to eat it though, it looks like you really put a lot of effort into putting the meal together and building all the flavors! This is completely one of those meals that you need to keep on the quick dinner list! It will fill both the tasty and speedy requirements for sure!

Here is what you need to get:


(Adapted from Rachel Ray. Serves two.)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1/6 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

Start by cutting the chicken into pieces slightly larger than bite size and sprinkle each side with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and really let it go until the oil just starts to sizzle a little. I always have the worst patience with this but it definitely makes a difference in cooking the chicken. Once you hear those first few sizzles, add the chicken to the pan. Let the chicken cook on the first side for about 5 minutes, flip each piece and then add the fresh rosemary.

Chicken cooked on one side.

While you are letting the chicken cook for an additional five minutes on the other side, you can combine everything for the glaze real quick! I used a large measuring cup to mix everything in but you can use whatever is handy. To your measuring cup or bowl, mix the orange marmalade, balsamic, and chicken broth. You really can’t get much easier than that!

Glaze: Orange marmalade, balsamic vinegar, and chicken broth.

Once your chicken is completely cooked through, it’s ready to be glazed.

Chicken completely cooked through before it is glazed.

It’s time to pour in the glaze you mixed up. (If it was sitting for more than a few minutes, give it a quick stir to make sure it’s all mixed.)

Chicken and the glaze before it has a few minutes to thicken.

Let the chicken and glaze get aquatinted for about two minutes and the glaze will thicken just a bit and become more of a sauce.

Chicken and glaze after the glaze had about two minutes to thicken.

That’s all you have to do with the chicken! Super simple but the combination of the orange flavor and rosemary is fantastic! We decided to serve our chicken with a little rice and a combination of cherry tomatoes and zucchini. You can start the rice before you even start the chicken and it will be ready just as your chicken finishes cooking and you can saute the veggies with just a touch of olive oil (and we put a little rosemary to compliment the flavor of the chicken) about five minutes before your chicken is done. The whole thing shouldn’t take much longer than the 30 minutes promised by Rachel Ray but you can even add on the rice and veggies for a complete meal! It’s low key but has some spunk and who doesn’t want to sit down to a spunky meal after a long day of work! For now, that’s orange balsamic chicken…in the shell of a nut!

1 Comment

  • This looks yum! Definitely going to try next week!

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